Expats and Workers
Expats and Workers
Foreign Labor under Sponsorship
This chapter examines foreign labor in Qatar from opposing ends of the employment spectrum. On one side are professional-class expatriates with terminal degrees from prestigious Western universities; on the other are low-wage migrants who toil six days per week in Qatar’s service and construction sectors. These groups are physically segregated from each other, and a number of institutional and cultural mechanisms symbolically isolate Qataris from expatriates. This stratification is illustrated through everything from residential zoning laws and hiring practices to homes and clothing. Both sets of workers are part of Qatar’s sponsorship labor system, which gives them limited protections from deportation should trouble arise. Professional-class expatriates develop interactive strategies that attempt physical or symbolic affinity with Qataris, seeking whatever residual benefits such proximity has to offer. Low-wage laborers from non-Western nations have fewer options. On their one day off per week, low-wage laborers are prohibited from entering shopping malls, among the few free public, air-conditioned spaces in a country where temperatures regularly exceed one hundred degrees. The negligent treatment of low-wage migrant workers contributed to a tragic incident at a Doha shopping mall that lays bare the disconnect between Qatari nationals and expatriates.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.